'Focus will be on brownfield' - MP extracts land pledge from PM - The Solihull Observer

'Focus will be on brownfield' - MP extracts land pledge from PM

Solihull Editorial 25th Sep, 2020 Updated: 25th Sep, 2020   0

MERIDEN MP Saqib Bhatti has asked the Prime Minister to commit to protecting Meriden’s Green Belt.

Mr Bhatti asked the Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, September 23, to confirm that the government will prioritise building on brownfield sites first before touch Green Belt land.

His question comes in the wake of Solihull’s draft Local Plan covering 2020 to 2036 and which envisages 574 hectares of land, more than 1,400 acres, being taken out of the Green Belt, and the construction of some 15,000 new homes across the borough.

Mr Bhatti asked the Prime Minister: “My constituents in Meriden understand the need for more housing, but the majority of Meriden is Green Belt land.

“Across Meriden – in places such as Balsall Common, Dorridge, Knowle, Dickens Heath, Hockley Heath, Catherine-de-Barnes and

Hampton-in-Arden – residents are quite rightly concerned about the pressures on the Green Belt.

“Can the Prime Minister confirm that his government are a brownfield first government, and can he also confirm that he will do everything he can to protect our precious Green Belt?”

In reply, the Prime Minister said: “I certainly can. It was a former Labour Planning Minister who said, ‘The Green Belt is a Labour achievement, and we intend to build on it.’

“The Government’s approach is entirely different. Our planning reform will not change. That is what the Opposition want to do. We will not change existing policy to protect the Green Belt, and our housing targets, which are very ambitious, will focus, as my hon. Friend rightly says, on brownfield.”

The see the exchange click here

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